As I was walking out of the St. Cloud YMCA last week I noticed a plaque on the wall I hadn't seen before. It read:

Behind this plaque is a time capsule. Dedicated on May 20th, 2017 by Mayor Dave Kleis in celebration of the Grand Opening of St. Cloud Community Aquatics Center and YMCA. This capsule is to be opened in the year 2050.

Immediately I wanted to know what was waiting in that secret capsule indie the wall. Waiting 29 more years to find out is going to seem like forever.

I've seen many of tv shows detailing what putting a time capsule together is like (Parks and Rec, Bob's Burgers, Zoey 101) and usually, it involves some silly bickering about an item that should or shouldn't go into the vessel. I'm guessing that this St. Cloud one didn't involve a community meeting about whether or not a copy of Twilight by Stephanie Meyer belonged in it or not.

When it comes to putting together a time capsule in Minnesota, there is actually a list of guidelines for selecting what goes into one. It is all based on items longevity and how materials react to others over time. Here are some of the guidelines:

  • Documents printed on good quality paper. Avoid newsprint and inexpensive yellow tablet paper as these deteriorate quickly.
  • Black and white photos last longer than color ones
  • Avoid canned foodstuffs as they may explode from trapped gases emitted during microbial breakdown of the food and stain surrounding items permanently.
  • PVC, vinyl sheeting, natural rubber, and polyurethane foam are all materials commonly found in toys. They deteriorate over time and can harm other materials in the capsule space, so if those items are included they should be isolated.
  • Avoid wool, silk and nylon fabrics, if at all possible. Wool and silk contain sulphur that can tarnish metals.
  • Use pencil for lableing things, ink can change over time.

Have you ever been part of a time capsule creation? Share your story with us on our mobile app, I would love to hear what items went into it.

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